on the occasion of the
third part of the 2011 Ordinary Session
of the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembly
(Strasbourg, 20-24 June 2011)
(Extract of the verbatim records)
Mr RADI (Speaker of the House of Representatives of Morocco) thanked the President of the Parliamentary Assembly and the honourable Members for the honour and pleasure of the invitation to address the Assembly. He represented both chambers of the Moroccan Parliament and various groups within it.
It was a huge privilege to be at the Assembly at this historic time to create a partnership between the Parliament of the Kingdom of Morocco and the oldest European Institution representing democracy and the support of human rights. He also wished to thank the President for his kind words about his country during his address. He thanked all those who had taken the floor during the debate, and who had spoken with great openness and intellectual honesty.
Today was not intended to tackle and address all the problems that Morocco faced and Morocco was not here to accept a certificate of good conduct. Instead, it was to recognise the awarding of Partner for Democracy status for Morocco’s Parliament.
The matter of Western Sahara was currently before the UN Security Council. The UN Security Council had described Morocco’s proposal as a “serious, credible and sincere” plan to bring about a peaceable solution to the situation. Morocco would continue to deploy all the resources needed to find a solution through dialogue.
Human rights were respected in Morocco in the same fashion as they were in many other places in the world. On the issue of the death penalty, the new constitution would proclaim the right to life, illustrating that the Council of Europe’s concerns were being paid the greatest attention.
This sitting was being held at a momentous point, as the Moroccan Parliament was soon to be established as part of a constitutional monarchy and the new arrangements would be of a truly democratic nature. The democratic nature of the new arrangements should be emphasised. His Majesty King Mohammad VI had engaged in a broad dialogue with all his people and the referendum was now scheduled to take place on 1 July, having been brought forward after concerns had been expressed on 17 June. The new constitutional arrangements would ensure proper balance and separation of powers and an allocation of power in parliament on the basis of free elections. Parliament would have exclusive rights over legislative power. The members of the House of Representatives would also have executive power over the appointment of an independent judiciary. The new arrangements for separation of powers would ensure proper economic governance, moral leadership and equal opportunities for men and women in all fields. Social justice would also be pursued and a state would be created based on the rule of law. His vision was for a Morocco unified in its diversity.
The new arrangements would be built on openness with Europe. There were not just economic but human links with Europe, as 3 million Moroccans lived within the European Union. Morocco and Europe also shared the values of democracy, human rights and human dignity.
The support of the Council of Europe would be seen as being of significance by all democratic countries. The granting of Partner for Democracy status was a signal of confidence in Morocco and an expression that the Council believed Morocco was embarking on a credible programme of reforms. This faith did credit to the Council of Europe.
Morocco needed a better understanding and knowledge of constitutional arrangements going forward and it hoped to get this from the Council. He thanked Mr Volontè, the rapporteur, who had visited Morocco in March and worked unceasingly to produce a fair and committed report that detailed the views of the Moroccan authorities and did a good job of placing the situation in its social and economic context.
He thanked members of the Assembly for their encouragement, commitment and confidence expressed through the vote for Partner for Democracy status. It was a tribute and an honour for the Moroccan Parliament, and Moroccan human rights organisations and the Moroccan population would also feel honoured.
The Council of Europe played a key role in promoting democracy, human rights and the rule of law. Morocco looked forward to playing its role in the work of the North-South Centre, the Venice Commission and the Pompidou Group, and would be honoured to attend meetings of this Assembly from the autumn.
The Council could be assured that the Moroccan Parliament would work unceasingly to comply and monitor compliance of the reforms and would work together with European institutions to do so, including the Council of Europe.